USDA Confirms Avian Influenza in Washington State
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Posted by: Elizabeth Smith
USDA Confirms H5 Avian Influenza in Washington State Wild Birds
H5N2 Found in Northern Pintail Ducks & H5N8 Found in Captive Gyrfalcons
Posted from United States Department of Agriculture
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014— The United States Department of Agriculture’s
(USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of
highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5 avian influenza in wild birds in Whatcom County,
Washington. Two separate virus strains were identified: HPAI H5N2 in northern pintail
ducks and HPAI H5N8 in captive Gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds.
Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States.
There is no immediate public health concern with either of these avian influenza viruses.
Both H5N2 and H5N8 viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not
caused any human infection to date.
The finding in Whatcom County was quickly reported and identified due to increased
surveillance for avian influenza in light of the HPAI H5N2 avian influenza affecting
commercial poultry in British Columbia, Canada.
Washington State, USDA, and other Federal partners are working jointly on additional
surveillance and testing of birds in the nearby area.
All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, are encouraged
to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and to
report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through your state
veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional
information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at